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The Cold War Spy Station




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Tuesday January 1, 2013 



"The cloak of secrecy that covered it from the onset remains"

December 2012 statement from Field Station Berlin Veteran (1967-1970)




Code-named T.H.E. Hill, these artworks are created by a Field Station Berlin Veteran who worked at Teufelsberg during the mid-1970s. For further information on the new series of cinderella stamps visit the 'Voices Under Berlin', please CLICK HERE


FIELD STATION BERLIN: LIGHTNING FAST CHICKEN PLUCKER (2010) T.H.E. Hill, refrigerator magnet, 8.5 x 5 cms.



T.H.E. Hill, refrigerator magnet, 8.5 x 5 cms.



Detail of Teufelsberg stamp from


T.H.E. Hill, cinderella stamps, 20 x 15 cms.



4-POWER CITY (2008)

T.H.E. Hill, refrigerator magnet, 14 x 10.5 cms.




T.H.E. Hill, refrigerator magnet, 8.5 x 5 cms.



54th SOU DUI (1966), graphic recreation (2010) of the cloisonné pin, 3.75 x 2.5 cms.



I STILL HAVE A SUITCASE IN BERLIN (2012) T.H.E. Hill, frame from a web animation, 11 x 9 cms. CLICK HERE



Artist Brendan Jamison celebrating 50 years of Field Station Berlin




During January to February 2013, artist Brendan Jamison will be working on Phase 3 of Teufelsberg Field Station Berlin, a year long project based on the secret listening station built during the Cold War era. The field station is located at the peak of Teufelsberg in the Grunewald Forest. It was built by the American National Security Agency and shared with British Intelligence. With temporary mobile units in place since 1960, it was not until 1963 when permanent structures began to appear on the hill top. However, the 'architecture of espionage' was forever evolving. The field station expanded rapidly between 1963-1977.  In the beginning there were no radomes, by 1977, there were 5. For more information on Teufelsberg Spy Station please CLICK HERE



THE 1960s

Archive image of FSB from early 1960s

Archive image of FSB from early 1960s

Archive image of  FSB from mid 1960s

Archive image of  FSB from mid 1960s



The Field Station Berlin Veterans Group will meet for a special 3 day reunion from Wednesday September 25th to Friday September 27th, 2013. They hope to include the unveiling of a special plaque to commemorate the important secret work undertaken at Teufelsberg during the Cold War. To find out more please CLICK HERE.




It is the first day of 2013 so make sure a new exercise program is high on the agenda for your new year resolutions!



FSB Veteran Christopher McLarren is one of 5 tour guides at Teufeslberg

Duration: 2- 3 hours

Entrance fee: € 15
Visitors age 14-26: € 8

Do you want to apply for a guided tour to Teufelsberg?

Berlin Sight Out offer ‘English’ tours on the following dates:

Tours are possible every sunday, 13:31 p.m., if there are enough people apply. When
there are not enough applications, the guide speaks German, but may answer your questions in English between the stops.

The meeting point is in front of restaurant "Scheune" directly by the metro-station "Grunewald" (violet line "S7", arrives at 13.31), exit "Eichkampstraße".

Please send an email to giving your name, how many of you will be coming and the date and time of the tour you would like to join.

For further information please CLICK HERE



Approaching FSB from North West direction on Wednesday 5 December 2012. Photography © Brendan Jamison.






Excerpt from BBC News on 14 November 2012.

Sculptor Brendan Jamison hopes for 'sweet' response



....Brendan Jamison "is currently working on a sculpture of an old US spy station in west Berlin. It was built on an artificial hill at Teufelsberg - Devil's Mountain. "The mound was made out of all the rubble heaped up in Berlin after the war," Brendan said. "It was piled up into a hill. It was the highest point in Berlin and was used from 1963 to the end of the Cold War. Nowadays people go out into Grunewald forest for a walk and to see it." Earlier this year, Brendan Jamison was elected to the Royal British Society of Sculptors....








The guide Andreas Jüttemann with tight security services and the company who offer public tours on Sundays on top of Teufelsberg. Photo: Mike Wolff



By Cay Dobberke

May 14, 2011

An investor hopes for continuance for the Teufelsberg buildings: he wants to create lofts and a museum. Is it a relic of the Cold War?

On Teufelsberg new life is turned around: since February, there are guided tours of the former American and British listening station, and since a few days ago, there are now special tours for amateur photographers. A spy shop and an art project are planned on the Grunewald mountain that was erected after the Second World War with the ruins from houses. The spy station closed 20 years ago and now most of the tower facades of cut white plastic flutters in the wind. Now the owners want to get the Cologne architect Hartmut Gruhl to explain the historical landmark of this relic of the Cold War.

"I expect that by the end, the station will be under a preservation order" said Gruhl, "we ask for the petition until the summer." The conservation authorities have responded positively, but not put it in writing yet. The basis of the application is a study by graduates of the University of Technology Master's program in conservation form, which recently gave a presentation at the Allied Museum in Dahlem. The student certify the spy station as having historical, urban and scientific significance.

Gruhl is to create up to 50 lofts in the existing buildings. In addition, a cafe, an observation deck and museum are conceivable. He wants to spend 20 million euros. The investor community had bought the area in the late nineties to build a hotel and luxury apartments. This project failed, after a long period, due to the Development Administration, who classified the plateau as forest area, therefore nothing can be built there.

Gruhl therefore relies on the old buildings. He believes the monument will improve the chances of getting the plans approved. The administrations disagree. "Heritage does not create construction law" says Klaus-Dieter Gröhler (CDU), Councilor for Construction in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Only a tourist restaurant is permitted and desirable. Back in the nineties, the Upper Monument Institute have found that investment was not worth protecting.

On the other hand, the urban development management, in which the upper conservation authority is located, states that "a request for preservation may well be treated sympathetically."

"There is a change in thinking: today sees the preservation of buildings from the time of the Cold War, unlike 15 years ago" says spokeswoman Petra Rohland. The listening post belong to history and was "cityscape formative".

But the Senate adds, that "conservation is not the same building regulations." The monument status requirements could complicate or prevent the construction of lofts. The question seems to be who funds a monument and repairs the ruins if the investors rebuff with their construction project. Cost estimates for remediation does not exist.

City leader Andreas Jüttemann stands firm that the station is a worthy monument. The 15 Euros tour by his company Berlinsightout is needed. And Jüttemann thinks further: Until the "Heritage Day on 10 and 11 September" he wants to open an art exhibition in the old house of the U.S. guard battalion on the mountain. The former casino has been cleared out and repaired. Artists have created the "Cultural Association Teufelsberg project"; to create "a gallery or an art café". A novelty is also four-hour tours for amateur photographers of the company 'Go2know' for 30 euros.

2011: Winter day at Teufelsberg. Photography: © Tagesspeigel



16 DECEMBER 2012


Wo die Spione lauschten

Unterwegs auf dem Berliner Teufelsberg

Inside information: The American Christopher McLarren worked from 1973 to 1975 on the listening station in Grunewald. He now does the guides on the Teufelsberg


The old listening station on the Teufelsberg was restricted for years. From here, the Americans listened in on the Soviet Bloc from the Cold War.


Meanwhile, a former American soldier offers guided tours of the grounds. A trip to the Berlin Grunewald.

Berlin - Who has courage looks down. However, you first must meet the gaze straight ahead. Miles of green treetops. And tiny behind the Olympic Stadium. Then again green space, the rear seems to meet the sky on the horizon. It has a beautiful view of the white dome, the highest point of the old listening station on the Berlin Teufelsberg. But the view is risky: one step forward and you fall through the hole in the wall 26 meters in depth.

The white dome light is dim. The room is about the size of the center circle in a football field. Plane white shapes are around the roof. It is stitched in diamonds and resembles a football. At one point, someone has cut a hole into the outer skin of the dome. It's as big as a door. This white dome and her sisters on the old listening station is one of the landmarks of Berlin. If you travel by plane, you see the footballs in Grunewald at the landing. Unlike the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate, this landmark is wound around with many secrets. For years, the terrain on the Teufelsberg in the Grunewald was a restricted military zone. From up here in the cold war, the entire Soviet bloc was spied upon. For some time now, there have been tours to the site.

A mountain of rubble

Today, about 30 people have come to the Grunewald train station, where the tours start. The group are comprised of Berliners and also tourists from abroad. They gather around an elderly gentleman with a Panama hat. After 20 minutes of walking through the Grunewald, the group is faced with an iron factory gate. The "Field Station Berlin" is reached. With 115 meters in height, The Teufelsberg in the Grunewald, is significantly higher than the rest of Berlin.

The mountain was created after the Second World War from the rubble of the bombed-out city. The 'Field Station Berlin' on the Teufelsberg was built in the early 60s. During the Cold War the British and the Americans were there to listen to the communications in the east.

"You could listen for some 300 kilometers from here," said Christopher McLarren, the man with the Panama hat. "Therefore the minutes of the listening station had been of great interest. Because of no other place you could hear so far into the land of the enemy."

"It was puzzle work"

Today we can only guess how the listening station once looked. At the facility entrance, each visitor has to sign a paper. It states that the organizer is not liable for accidents. Then the tour goes around a bend - and suddenly you are faced with the ruins: The windows of the buildings are smashed and the walls sprayed with graffiti. "I know the building" says McLarren. "But I do not know it"

After the end of the Cold War was the old listening station initially lay empty. In 1995 it was bought by a group of investors from the Cologne area. They wanted to build condos there. But Berlin protested that they did not want a development area created in the woods. The city escaped the investors. Then nothing happened for a few years.

From the courtyard the tour continues to the highest tower of the listening station. There is garbage and broken glass everywhere. On one floor the graffiti is spectacular. A woman with a dandelion in her hand adorns a wall about ten feet long. At the same time the view is always better. In between, there is always a dark stairwell. Once a close-knit community in the dome, visitors sit exhausted on stones. The man in the Panama hat looks satisfied out of the hole in the facade.

Christopher McLarren is 65 years old and American. From 1973 to 1975 he worked as an evaluator at the listening station. His job was to sift the intercepted protocols - and to decide which of them was to be sent to the headquarters in Washington. "It was puzzle work," he says. But he does not discuss anything about the intercepted information.

Instead, he talks about the lives of the soldiers who worked there. He tells of working days that were not too hard on the good cafeteria food, and from the close-knit community, today they are veterans of Teufelsberg.

Then it's back out of the tower to the ground. The group slowly ventures through the dark staircase down again. A last look at the floors with their graffiti art. Then we are all back on the forecourt, remembering a drinks price list to the parties of yesteryear.

Kristin Kruthaup, dpa











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